HEARTBURN AND BRUISES

Ah, the fun is finally beginning… 😉

Now, I know that these newfound discomforts are really just minor annoyances in the grand scheme of things (I’ll take heartburn and bruises over morning sickness and stretch marks any day!), but hey, it’s my blog, and I’ll whine if I want to 🙂

A couple of months ago I started to experience intermittent heartburn in the evenings, after dinner and at bedtime.  It went away for a bit, but now it seems to be back with a vengeance.  I’m not sure what, if anything, can be done about it.  As far as I understand, the mechanism of pregnancy heartburn is the combination of a growing uterus pushing the stomach upwards and a relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter (due to the pregnancy hormones progesterone and relaxin), which allows stomach acid to travel up the esophagus to the throat.  And travel, it does.  Yesterday, I awoke from a nap choking and coughing, which was highly unpleasant, to say the least.  Then I had to skip a small part of my CrossFit workout because it required being upside-down, and I just knew that would have been a very bad idea at the time.

I have read that certain foods, such as those that are spicy, fatty or acidic, are known to increase the symptoms of heartburn, and that over-the-counter antacids can alleviate those symptoms.  The problem during pregnancy, however, is that digestion is already sluggish due to those same wonderful hormones that cause heartburn, so I really don’t want to mess with my stomach’s pH and risk compromising digestion and absorption of nutrients.  Aside from one particularly delicious Cajun spice mix that I adore, I really can’t seem to find any particular food triggers.  It seems that I either have heartburn or I don’t, regardless of what I eat.

I do know from some of my Paleo related research that low-carbohydrate diets tend to have a beneficial effect on gastro-esophageal reflux; however, my present diet is probably about as low-carb as I want it to be during pregnancy, considering that I have to compensate for the calories lost by my reduced protein intake.  I am told that the heartburn will subside once the baby makes his descent into the pelvis, so in the meantime, I guess I just have to suck it up… unless anybody has any better ideas?

__

Back in February I blogged about how over-consumption of Omega-3 (from fish oil) was causing me to bruise and bleed more easily (see: Too much Omega-3?).  Upon reducing my fish oil intake, the problem resolved itself.  Over the weekend, however, I started to notice a number of bruises (with no trauma history) on the outsides and backs of my legs. Then yesterday, after doing some 150 double-unders in my CrossFit workout, I actually sustained bruises on my arms from the jump rope (usually I just get a few red welts that disappear by the next morning).  I don’t think excess amounts of Omega-3’s are to blame this time, as I have maintained the same intake since February.  I do have a history of iron deficiency, but am supplementing more than 50 milligrams per day between my prenatal vitamin and my iron supplement, plus eating plenty of red meat.  Vitamin K deficiency is known to cause problems with clotting, which can lead to bruising, but it is exceedingly rare in adults — especially those who eat a diet high in nutrient-dense foods.

Next week I will be undergoing iron/hemoglobin testing as part of my routine third trimester blood work, so I guess I’ll be able to definitively confirm or eliminate iron issues after that.  The only other possible conclusion I can draw at this point is that an increase in blood volume combined with the relaxation of veinous and arterial walls may be leaving me more susceptible to bruising than I would otherwise be.  Has anybody else had any experience with this?

No photos today.  Believe me, nobody wants to see pictures of my pretty bruises 🙂

4 responses to “HEARTBURN AND BRUISES

  1. You can try putting some blocks under the legs of your bed to elevate your upper body while you rest. This doesn’t eliminate the cause of heartburn, but at least it helps alleviate the symptoms while you rest. I had this while pregnant with my oldest son and it can get pretty awful =(
    Ginger tea can help too!

  2. Papaya enzyme helps with the heartburn, as does sleeping with your head/upper body elevated. I’m in my second trimester with twins and was surprised at how early the heartburn arrived. Oh joy! Great following your pregnancy and seeing other mamas being so active 🙂

  3. I’d actually bought some digestive enzymes several months ago, but then returned them unopened because the heartburn was never nasty enough to warrant using them, and I wasn’t having any other digestive issues.

    I noticed that many digestive enzymes are *not* safe for pregnancy/breastfeeding (esp. if they contain pancreatin), but I did find a vegetarian supplement from Now Foods that doesn’t have any contraindications related to pregnancy. I may have to go back and give those a try…

    I’ve also been finding that switching back to magnesium citrate drink (Natural Calm), as opposed to the pill form, seems to be helping.

  4. Raw papaya and the chewable papaya enzyme tablets worked wonders for me. It’s hard to find raw papaya, unless you live in, say, Hawaii. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s